Is Google Making us stupid?
The essay's thesis is: "The following essay appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of The Atlantic.While the title asks if Google is mak- ing us stupid, the essay examines how not just Google, but technology (typewriters, clocks, the Internet) changes the way we think. Nicholas Carr is author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains." Carr begins by writing about how he used to be an avid book reader. It was one of his favorite things to do, but over time he believes the way he thinks changed. He gives examples of how everything has become so much easier for us and instead of picking up a book and really getting into the details of it he just skims. He also states how the internet is like searching for a prize and finding instant information then moving on.
The essay starts with a part of a movie, "A Space Odyssey". In the beginning, the guy has an artificial brain that he feels is disconnecting. He relates this to himself. He starts by saying he can feel it too, he feels as if something in his brain has changed. He knows his mind isn't working as well as it used to. When Carr draws his attention to the assumption of Larry Page, he is unsettled by his statement that we'd all be better off with artificial intelligence. This statement is somewhat unsettling to me as well. How can someone so quickly put down the intelligence of human beings and say that an artificial intelligence would be better? Are we headed down that road? Eventually will we rely on artificial intelligence for everything? Carr's point is that we already rely on it so much that we need to go back to traditional reading.
Carr makes a concession that using google and artificial intelligence is useful because we systemize information and make it much easier to access and understand than traditional reading. It is important to his argument because he realizes how powerful this could be and how much it could potentially change the way we think.